When he founded the sweepstakes company Squeedeal, CEO and Founder Dolev Zaharony didn’t completely understand what he was getting into. But what he did know is that he wanted to support people.
“I like to help people, I like to bring people together,” he said. “I like to see people help other people as well.”
His company, Raleigh-based Squeedeal, helps non-profits by hosting sweepstakes where the public can enter for a chance to win items such as a Ring doorbell, an iPhone or even an all-expenses-paid trip to a conference.
Entries range in price, with $20 giving you 40 entries, $35 giving you 70 entries and $50 giving you 100 entries into the drawing. The winning ticket is then drawn randomly through a third-party website, and the winner receives the prize. After covering the price of the item, the rest of the money is split 80/20 with the majority going to the non-profit that the sweepstakes was benefitting.
For Zaharony, helping non-profits and making things affordable for people is what drives him.
“My plan is to hopefully make everything affordable: cars, houses, tuition for school, even healthcare,” he said.
Zaharony has been boot-strapping it with a two-person team since the company was founded about six months ago. He was surprised to find that, before he even started, much of his time was being spent deciphering the laws governing sweepstakes.
“My preliminary research was mostly legal stuff,” he said, “so I was working with accountants and lawyers before I even put one thing on the website.”
But, these strict laws actually contribute to Squeedeal’s bottom line, Zaharony said.
“Most states, probably all of them as far as I know, don’t allow non-profits to do more than two raffles a year,” he said. “They can still run those raffles, that’s fine, but if they want more they can always come to us and we’d be happy to help.”
Key to Squeedeal’s strategy is its Facebook group, where Zaharony sometimes posts free sweepstakes. In those instances the entry fee is waived as long as members invite friends to join the group.
“It’s a huge advantage for us,” he said, “because we can keep the people inside and keep talking to them and engage them with all kinds of new things on a regular basis.”
Differentiators From Competitors
Unlike their competition, sites such as Prizeo and Omaze, Zaharony said his company offers more tangible items in place of experiences, and that it values community more.
“They have Facebook ads but they don’t have any sort of engagement with the community,” he said. “It feels very distant, while we’re trying to be out there and help support people.”
Up to now, Zaharony has run campaigns for Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, Yadid’it! Sustainable Dog Rescue and the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center.
Zaharony said he’s been working hard and is looking to expand Squeedeal’s reach to new charities and new sweepstakes participants.
“The more I work with those non-profits,” Zaharony said, “the more I’m into it because you see how much the effect is on people’s lives. It’s astonishing.”